5.16.2011

Reflecting Back on the 5th Annual Jacaranda 10K

The night before the race I went through my normal race routine. I picked out the running clothes for the race. I usually try to tie into some theme (ie. pink for Run for the Cause) but make sure I don't race in anything new. This time my racing gear was going to be centered around my Bondi Band message: It's just a hill, get over it. After choosing the gear, with my daughter's input, I prepared a sprint bottle, uploaded a new play list of tunes, and settled into a calm, peaceful evening.

My family was all up by 6:00 am the day of the race and it seemed hubby was gearing to go. Too bad for him the race didn't start at 7:00 am as he kept hoping for. I tried to stall the family as much as I could while I ate a Powerbar with some milk, styled my daughter's hair, and got myself ready. And then it was out the door to Auntie Kelly's and Uncle Bob's who were slated to watch the darling daughter while I ran with hubby.

We got to the start an hour early, which is earlier than I wanted but I chose not to fret and just kick back and enjoy the scenery. The photographer came by to say HI and commented that this must be a tough race because every looks so serious and aren't joking as much as they usually do prior to runs. And that hour went by fast because before I knew it, we were lining up and getting ready to go.

The start was quick and fast with two loops around the track at Seabury. Perhaps I should integrate some grass running into my training here and there. It does feel different than pavement but I was fine and my hubby was by my side. Regardless, I was happy to hit the pavement even if it meant it was the start of my uphill climb. I also checked into my pace and realized I should take it back a notch. I really don't think I could maintain a sub-eight minute per mile pace uphill.

The route was beautiful; however, I didn't notice the jacaranda trees and their blooms as much as I imagined. The course is indeed a challenge and mile 3 was a hard one, as I was warned. And this is the second time I have raced with hubby and that added another element to the mix. Oh yeah...it is worth noting we don't even train together. Hmmm.....

At the halfway point I told myself I could increase my pace if desired but I really felt I was already racing at my peak for this course. It is so hard to know for sure in a new race and this is a skill I will need to work on. I kept it going and skipped the water stations at miles 2 and 4 as I was carrying my Cytomax. With about 1 mile left I was determined to pull out all the stops. After a brief burst in speed I felt my reserves were empty and calmed myself that at least it meant I was racing well. It is one thing to train and have a lot left, it is not the way one should always race.

Go Mommy Go!

But low and behold, the finish stretch came in and part of me was bummed that I wasn't able to really push the final mile. I closed my eyes for a moment to accept myself and found a bit of energy hidden deep inside of me and it came crashing out as I sprinted to the finish. Yes, sprinted! Where on Earth was that energy? Could I have sustained a faster final mile? I really don't know but I did learn a valuable lesson. I learned that when I feel empty that somewhere down deep there will be a reserve of energy for me and it will come out when needed. And isn't that a valuable lesson for any endurance runner to learn?

Mommy's medal goes to daughter
A friend asked me after the race if I set a new PR for myself. Well, no. I didn't set a new PR for a 10K and don't know if an uphill course is the forum for this but I am happy with my results.

My race time was approximately 1:08:00. I forgot to stop my Nike+ immediately and honestly didn't look at the race clock as I crossed. I placed 2nd in my age/gender division! Go Mommy Go!!!


1 comment:

  1. A hilly 10K? Now, that's a good workout! I run slower on grass than on the road and hills slow me down, too, of course! Congrats on the finishing time and 2nd place, too!

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